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Preliminary itinerary July 2010 - Rome & Amalfi Coast

Preliminary itinerary July 2010 - Rome & Amalfi Coast

Nov 20th, 2009, 07:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 479
Preliminary itinerary July 2010 - Rome & Amalfi Coast

Hi All

I am contemplating a 12-day trip to Italy in early July 2010, visiting Rome and the Amalfi Coast. At this early stage I have formulated the following itinerary,

Day 1 Fly into Rome, stay 4 nights;
Day 5 Collect car, drive to the Amalfi Coast;
Base 5 nights in Amalfi Coast, perhaps Sorrento or Ravello;
Day 10 Return car in Sorrento. Take ferry from Sorrento to Capri, stay 2 nights;
Day 12 Ferry to Naples, stay 1 night
Day 13 Fly from Naples to Rome to connect internaitonal flight out of Rome

Your comments on the above is much appreciated.

swagman is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 08:02 PM
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A few comments and suggestions:

Sorrento and Ravello are very, very different. Sorrento is a largish mid-market resort with excellent transport connections to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius, Capri and Ischia. Ravello is tiny, more up-market and isolated on a hilltop, with only a bus connection to Amalfi. Which you choose is, of course, a personal decision, but you should be aware of the differences.

Don't drive! Parking is difficult and expensive; the roads are crowded. There is frequent bus and ferry service to get around, although the buses can be crowded in high season.

Go straight to the Amalfi Coast on arrival. It's much too risky to fly to Rome the day of your return flight. If you put your Rome stay at the end of your trip, you're in position to fly out and you've saved one change of hotel.
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 07:23 AM
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I agree with Zerlina--start on the AC and end in Rome.
Also, I doubt if you want the car--just too much hassle. Sorrento is not on the AC but is very convenient for access to both Capri and Pompeii. With the $$$ you save on the car you can afford to hire a private driver one day--use the bus system most of the time. Ravello is lovely but quite isolated--do not stay there but do visit for a day--by bus from Amalfi.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 07:59 AM
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Be prepared in July on the Amalfi coast for lots and lots of traffic.
We drove the short distances that you want to see, in May, and it takes about four times longer to do them then you can calculate just by looking at the Kilometers.
If you want to drive there are accomodations with parking available but parking is difficult when you go from town to town.
Also, I would put the Rome leg at the end of my trip and I would consider taking the train to Naples from Rome if you decide to do that directly and pick up the car there.
Others are right that you can avail yourself of public transportation and do what you wish.
I would not say do not use your own car. Just be prepared for the traffic jams and alot your time accordingly.
Sher is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 10:19 AM
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We always drive a car on the Amalfi Coast and find it by far the best way to go. Much ore freedom to do what you want when and easy to get to Pompeii and Naples.

But we go in May when it's much less crowded and our hotel has free parking. Also, - we are from NYC and used to searching for a place to park and putting the car in a place almost the same size as the car. To people used to parking in driveways or mall parking lots parallel parking (on either side) in tiny places can be a challenge.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 01:23 AM
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Great advice everyone, many thanks!

We have never done Europe without a car and love the freedom of having one due to the fact that we get to see and do what/when/how we want. Neither the twisty/windy roads in the AC nor its traffic worry us - if we can put up with the snail-paced N98 getting in and out of St Tropez and meander through the narrow and equally twisty Repulse Bay Road in the south side of Hong Kong Island, we can drive anywhere!

But everyone on this forum has confidently recommended the comprehensive network of public transport, perhaps we should give it a go.

Zerlina and bob, great advice to move Rome to the end of the trip. However after a 12+hour flight into Rome, do you recommend we fly or train down to Naples? Is there a TGV equivalent from Rome to Naples? And thereafter a 2+ hour schlapp on the bus to Sorrento! Could be a long day!!

Other posters have also commented that they would prefer to stay in Amalfi or Positano rather than Sorrento as the former are more intimate. Given this will be our first trip to the area, and without our own transport, perhaps Sorrento is a more convenient 'hub' to do day trips from?

So, the revised itinerary is as followsbr />
Day 1 Fly into Rome; fly/train to Naples; bus to Sorrento/Amalfi or Positano - stay 4 nights;
Day 5 Ferry to Capri - stay 3 nights;
Day 8 Ferry to Naples; fly/train to Rome - stay 4 nights
Day 12 Fly home from Rome

We can actually squeeze an extra night in the above itinerary, any suggestion where we spend it?

Your input is much appreciated!

swagman is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 03:58 AM
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If you have never been to Rome before (can't tell from your post) 3 days of sightseeing there is not much time.
Vttraveler is online now  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 04:04 AM
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We have been in the AC and Rome last september.If there is one more night in hand,I will go with Rome.We have based in Amalfi and find if very relaxing and beautyful.Also,public transportation is excellent.No doubts you will have an unforgetable trip!!!!
jelopez33 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 04:23 AM
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>>Day 1 Fly into Rome; fly/train to Naples; bus to Sorrento/Amalfi or Positano - stay 4 nights;<<

You train to Sorrento from Naples. If you are going on to Amalfi then you would catch the bus in Sorrento, not Naples. If you decide to stay in Amalfi, consider training Rome to Salerno and then catching the bus or ferry to Amalfi.
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 05:05 AM
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Hi swag,

I would fly into Rome and out of Naples, or VV.

For Positano and Amalfi I would train to Salerno and take the ferry or the SITA bus.

Also, if you really, really have to have a car you can pick it up in Salerno or Sorrento and drop it off in the other town.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 07:40 AM
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We can actually squeeze an extra night in the above itinerary, any suggestion where we spend it?

Naples. I would suggest more but right now you have zero nights in Naples!
bardo1 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 10:00 AM
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The train to Salerno takes you way past Positano and to the other end of the Amalfi coast. The bus back will take quite a long time to cover the 30ish miles.

I believe that you can catch the circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento and then pick up the sita bus, or just get a cab from Sorrento to Positano, which would be my choice for a base.

It's a bit of a dilemma to choose where my overnights should go though isn't it, as after a 12+ hour flight I'd just want to get into bed for a couple or three hours. It depends on how much you can sleep on a plane, business class or economy. I probably wouldn't want to drive from Rome to Positano, a 4 hour(ish)trip. If you can do it, that would the way to go, if not, then I think I'd put my night in Naples here.

So arrive Rome, train to Naples, stay overnight, hire car Naples to Positano, stay 6 nights. Do day trip to Capri with ferry from Positano, (IMHO that's enough), then drive to Rome, return car. 5 nights in Rome and fly home.
Lifeman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 03:37 AM
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Once again, thx everyone!

I have decided to ditch the car and rely on public transport!

Can someone give me the website for the train service from Rome Fiumicino airport to Naples? And does anyone know how long the journey takes? Is there a TGV equivalent of this service?

Given the 12+ hour flight, after arrival, we'll probably train from Rome to Naples and then take the 2-hour train to Sorrento and base there. Don't think we want to keep going on the SITA bus for another 2 hours to get to Amalfi.

ira, we are coming from Australia, to fly in or out of Naples, I can only find connections to Gatwick. Qantas flies into Heathrow which means there will be a 2-hour transfer between the 2 hubs, so it's not feasible. Flying in and out of Rome will be the most efficient, the return trip between Rome and Naples seems to be unavoidable.

jelopez33, I am following your trip report, waiting for further instalments!

Lifeman, thanks for your suggestions. I would really like to overnight in Capri, think it will be special and believe the ambience on the island will be totally different when the day trippers are gone. I have heard mixed reviews about Naples, it being grotty etc, so I have not factored in to overnight there unless absolutely necessary for the purpose of transit.

swagman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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Hi swag,

>....the return trip between Rome and Naples seems to be unavoidable.<
Too bad.

May I suggest that you continue your journey to Naples on the first day, see the AC and Capri and do Rome at the end? That way you will have your downtime to get over jet lag, etc at the beginning, in a more relaxed atmosphere.

ira is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 06:14 AM
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I agree w/ Ira...

...mixed reviews about Naples,...

From who? Someone who actually stayed in the Spaccanapoli for a few days or someone who was just passing through and only saw the train station or, even worse, only saw the (grotty) dock area?

The historic center in Naples is absolutely charming, pleasant and even quiet in the pedestrian only areas.
There is plenty of must see attactions while in Southern Italy and I, for one, can't fathom missing out on it.
I think someone gave you some bum advice..
bardo1 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 06:32 AM
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I also wanted to share our trip report. It was VERY similar to the the one you are now planning.

I would suggest Amalfi or Positano for your Coastal base: Positano is all steps if that's a consideration. Ravello is very tiny and would by better as 1 day or 1/2 day side trip, IMHO.

bardo1 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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bardo1: From who? Someone who actually stayed in the Spaccanapoli for a few days or someone who was just passing through and only saw the train station or, even worse, only saw the (grotty) dock area?

We stayed in the heart of the Spaccanapoli area for a few days, and enjoyed the experience very much. But... Naples is a very strong flavor. I can see how it might not be for everyone. Just sayin'.

Our Naples pix, for anyone interested...
mr_go is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 08:13 AM
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Well I'll throw in my 2 cents! I would think about staying your first night in Rome - you are coming in on a LONG flight, not just the "hop across the pond". Stay within walking distance of Termini (it is easy to get a train from the airport to Termini), don't really unpack, then the next morning head south to wherever you decide to locate - Sorrento or beyond. Going thru the Naples train station you will want to have your wits about you! You will take one train to Naples, then another to Sorrento, then a bus if you stay in Positano or Amalfi. I would stay in Sorrento and daytrip from there - Pompeii, explore the coast - by bus, boat, private driver or rent a car for a day. If YOU drive, parking can be a bigger challenge (like in Positano) than the drive. On our first trip we went with a private driver for a day to take us to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello - that way we could relax and enjoy looking at the coast instead of watching the road! You can daytrip into Naples too - good archeology museum there where they have put alot of decorative arts from Pompeii. Naples has never charmed me, I would not stay there but maybe I haven't seen the pleasant parts of it - it seems chaotic and dirty to me and I've had several encoutners with "tricky people" if you know what I mean.

So after several nights in Sorrento, move on to Capri for two or three nights - its a great place to relax and hike. Then take the boat back to Naples and train to Rome to finish up. I would think it is really easier to train between Rome and Naples than fly.
suec1 is online now  
Nov 24th, 2009, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Swagman, when does your flight into Rome arrive? If it's before, say, 3PM, you might as well use the day to move on to Naples or Sorrento.

Look at the schedule from Fiumicino Airport (I assume that's where you'll arrive) to Naples Centrale station at www.bahn.de (see English tab) or at www.trenitalia.it. Probably you will change trains in Rome's Stazione Termini. Once you arrive in Naples Centrale, if you go downstairs inside the station, you arrive at the Circumvesuviana platform, where you catch a little local train to Sorrento. The Eurostar train from Rome's Stazione Termini to Naples takes 1 hour 20 minutes. The whole trip might take 3.5 hours or so elapsed time.

Unless you're immune to jetlag, plan some downtime at your first stop -- so pick that stop accordingly. We just slow down for the first couple days, maybe add an extra day at our first stop, but our flight's not nearly so long.
Mimar is offline  

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